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A Man Who Failed to Save the Titanic

BRIGHT SIDE · 547,887 views
The sinking of the Titanic is, to this day, one of the worst catastrophes to come out of a long chain of unfortunate and untimely events. And that chain that would decide the cruel fate of the great Unsinkable Ship started with… a tiny key.

It seemed like such an insignificant little thing. So trivial that the man who’d had it with him completely forgot to hand it over to the person who’d desperately need it at a critical moment. That man was 37-year-old David Blair, and he was holding the key to the locked cabinet where all the binoculars for the lookouts were stored.

A last-minute change of plans 1:22
What the lookout on duty told the investigators after the tragedy 2:46
Why nobody didn't see a giant iceberg 3:07
What happened to David Blair and that key? 7:10
💰 The most expensive artifacts from the Titanic 7:46

#titanic #ships #brighside

- White Star Line, the shipping company that owned the Titanic, decided to replace David Blair with Henry Wilde, the Chief Officer of the Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Olympic.
- Blair wrote in a postcard to relatives that he was pretty upset about being replaced. In a hurry by the unexpected change or perhaps because of this distress, Blair forgot to hand the key to the binocular cabinet over to Officer Wilde!
- Soon after the Titanic left the port, the crew realized they wouldn’t be able to open the cabinet.
- Yes, the huge iceberg could’ve been noticed earlier even without binoculars, but perhaps in different conditions.
- There were no waves crashing up against the iceberg to give an audible warning, and there was no moonlight reflecting off the giant hunk of floating ice to make it sort of glow.
- Once Fred Fleet finally saw it at 11:39pm on April 14, 1912 and famously reported “Iceberg! Right ahead!” to the command bridge, it was already too late.
- Another cruel twist of fate is that there was a desperate shortage of lifeboats, with 2,224 people on board and only enough boats to save 1,178 lives.
- So what ever happened to David Blair and that cursed key? Well, he realized his mistake too late. But he continued to work as a mariner and even received a Bravery Medal from the Royal Humane Society in 1913 for saving a crewmember of the Majestic.
- As for the notorious key, for a long time he kept it as a reminder of the tragedy he’d miraculously avoided.
- It was sold in 2007 for £78,000, which would be about $135,000 by today’s rate.
- On the 100th anniversary of the sinking, they sold a letter written by 33-year-old Wallace Henry Hartley, a violinist and the bandleader on the Titanic. The letter was sold for £90,000 (equivalent to $125,000 today).
- But the most expensive, and no doubt the most exclusive finding, is Hartley’s violin. It was sold for a jaw-dropping price of £900,000 ($1.3 million today).

Music by Epidemic Sound

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